I wrote (and linked to others who wrote) about why we shouldn’t give in to the schadenfreude urge in relation to the child sex abuse scandal swamping the cultish Duggar family of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting fame, and Brooke Arnold makes a powerful argument coinciding with that: I could’ve been a Duggar wife: I grew up in the same church, and the abuse scandal doesn’t shock me. The children of the cultish perversion of Christianity the Duggars practice, particularly the girl children, are raised in an environment guaranteed to create these tragedies. And should we be surprised that the man credited with founding this movement is guilty of both a sexual harassment and sexual assault?
And now there’s the indictment of former Republican speaker of the house, Dennis Hastert for paying out millions of dollars in hush money to a man who Hastert had some sort of sexual relationship (sexual misconduct) with back when Hastert was a high school wrestling coach? As I asked earlier, and the author of that story asks now, “When do we get to acknowledge that sexual hypocrisy is in fact a constant theme of conservative politics — that every single time a Republican or ‘family values’ representative speaks to the bigoted mythology of homophobia or transphobia, they are closeting skeletons like a Duggar?” (In case we’ve forgotten how often this happens, Queerty has rounded up a subset of 16 Antigay Leaders Exposed as Gay or Bi.)
The levels of hypocrisy are truly staggering: Are You Gay? Burn In Hell! Molest A Child? You’re Forgiven! And Dennis Hastert’s secret gay ‘misconduct’ is even worse given his terrible voting record on gay rights. And let’s not forget that when Hastert was Speaker he tried to cover up the fact that Congressman Mark Foley had had sexual interactions with male members of the Congressional page program (high school age students).
On the other hand, June is almost here, and the President has issued a proclamation for Pride Month. People are reacting as if it isn’t a big deal, but as Gabe Ortiz (an immigration rights and gay rights activist) pointed out: George W. Bush refused to issue any such proclamations for 8 years even though they had been issued annually almost pro forma for many years before.
A few points stick out for me: “For countless young people, it is not enough to simply say it gets better; we must take action too.” and “All people deserve to live with dignity and respect, free from fear and violence, and protected against discrimination, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, we celebrate the proud legacy LGBT individuals have woven into the fabric of our Nation, we honor those who have fought to perfect our Union, and we continue our work to build a society where every child grows up knowing that their country supports them, is proud of them, and has a place for them exactly as they are.” Obama reflects on progress in Pride proclamation
Although some people think the acronym is already long, I wish the President had used the LGBTQ version, because I like to think that the Q (for queer) includes our polyamorous, agender, genderfluid, asexual, genderqueer, pansexual, genderqueer, and allied siblings. Because we’re all part of that crazy, happy, wonderfully fabulous tribe!
The world would have a lot fewer tragedies like Hastert’s inappropriate touching problem, Foley’s congressional page scandal, and the Duggar child molestation disaster if society as a whole accepted and affirmed all queer people.